Sunday, November 29th, marks the first Sunday in the liturgical year with the beginning of Advent. Advent, from the Latin adventus, is a time of hoping, waiting, and preparing for the coming of Christ, both in Christ’s birth at Christmas and in our hope of Christ’s final return. You can explore more about Advent here.
Below are some ways we are celebrating Advent at Rehobeth, and some ways you might intentionally prepare for Christmas this Advent.
The Advent wreath has been traced back to the 16thcentury among German Lutherans, however Johan Hinrich Wichern is credited as the inventor. Wichern was a Protestant pastor in Germany in the 19thcentury. He built a large wooden ring with candles for each day of Advent. The wreath grew in popularity and shrunk in size to the 4-5 candles we are familiar with today.
Advent wreaths are traditionally circular to represent God’s infinite love. The wreath lays flat. Evergreen leaves/branches are often used to represent the hope of eternal life through Jesus. There are 4 candles, equally spaced around the wreath, representing the four weeks of Advent. The four candles symbolize hope, love, joy and peace. Sometimes, a fifth candle is added to the center of the wreath –the Christ candle –and it is lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
We were thrilled to give out Advent Wreath kits to many of you. Those kits included a document of prayers, readings, and reflection questions. Even if you did not get a wreath, you can download that document here to use with a wreath you already have, with a single candle replacing the wreath, or on its own as part of your preparation for Christmas.
Advent Bible Study
Pastors Nikki and Andrew will lead an online Advent Study on each of the four Tuesdays in Advent (December 1st – 22nd) at 7pm. The study will take place on Zoom using this link (or use Meeting ID 336 292 3360 and passcode advent). Contact the church office for more information about accessing the Zoom meeting or dialing in by telephone.
If you are looking for a daily devotion to use throughout Advent, we encourage you to utilize the Society of Saint Andrew’s Advent devotional, which can be found at endhunger.org/advent. You can subscribe to a daily email or download a pdf copy of the full booklet. We can also get you a hard copy of the booklet if you contact the church office.
The Upper Room also includes daily devotions for Advent, if that is already a part of your devotional practice.
Do you connect better with visuals than with words? Check out this year’s #pictureAdvent series here.
Of course, throughout the season of Advent we will continue to worship together! Find our most recent updates about worship here.